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Rising From The Ashes: Parkas

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images. Gilda Ambrosio at Milan Fashion Week
Gilda Ambrosio at Milan Fashion Week
It’s not like they’ve ever really been out of style, but this season, the humble parka is the fash pack’s main squeeze, lending its warm embrace to editors and A-listers alike. Seen at Vetements via a genius collaboration with Canada Goose, they are oversized (naturally), heavy duty and brilliantly functional; two styles were seen on the runway but watch out for a six-piece outerwear capsule collection coming in November. Less weather appropriate, but forgivable nonetheless, was Stella McCartney’s inky blue velvet coat – the luxe dream ticket. Menswear label Casely-Hayford (who actually presented their first womenswear collection for SS17) showed a modern update on the classic khaki style that extended with floor-sweeping trains – definitely one to borrow from your boy.

The parka, aside from the odd association with train-spotters, has long been code for cool. Think original mod man Paul Weller – his oversized army surplus number slung over a skinny suit and a cigarette drooping from his lip. The look was aped by Liam Gallagher during his '90s “‘avin it” phase (and also now, come to think of it), a coat zipped up to the neck, positively heaving with swagger and masculine bravado. Cool Britannia. At this point we may as well give Bradley Wiggins a mention for a less successful attempt to channel the look….
Photo: Estrop/Getty Images.
Then came the glam era of the parka, when J.Lo wore hers in the "Get Right" video, cropped to the waist and worn snugly over leather hipster leggings and a washboard stomach-baring top, trimmed with a lush thatch of fur that we can only presume to be real.

But if you’re looking for the ultimate parka life hero, it has to be Kate Moss. There she is, in i-D, shot by Craig McDean, back to the camera and defiant in her khaki coat, with the words ‘god save the queen’ painted across it. Iconic. There’s also Kate on the cover of British Vogue – her favourite place to be – oversized hood perched lightly on her head back in 2008. And lest we forget everyday Kate, who wears parkas at Glasto over denim cut-offs, with skinny jeans to pick up her shopping , or coming out of Claridge's in a leather mini. The dream.

So, where to get yours? Mr & Mrs Italy offer the most delightful (also pricey) styles, a particular favourite being the ever-so fluffy candy pink shearling lined number. Slightly lower down the price chain is Whistles’ Jules parka, a classic if we ever did see one. Alternatively, raid your local army surplus and feel suitably smug in your indie authenticity.